Katie johnston is an interactive illustrator.
Katie focuses on drawing and image making as a research medium. She likes to engage participants in physical or workshop experiential pieces
She is an editorial illustrator so she does multiple jobs in 1 and doesn’t like sticking to 1 profession.
Pause studio During a break up, had lots of anxiety During her masters degree. She thought about things she was experiencing, and decided to look at the science behind anxiety. Katie went to Japan, looked at meditation, looked at cultures who weren’t addicted to their smartphones. She made a journal with mark making which was about a personal sketchbook exercise on meditation, hypnosis etc.
Katie then designed a series of workshops, to help people with their own anxieties Allowing people to have a moment of reflection. Some were installations or spatial, some were textile based, all different mediums Applied these to anxiety in the workplace, used in small businesses in Berlin where she lives.
Next project Rock, paper, scissors Tour visuals for Sting and Peter Gabriel in America Was the only illustrator on the team, everyone had quite specific roles in generating the content.
3rd project Playology A studio that explores ideas through play ways in which illustrators can explain something complicated. She chose the digestive system and tried to make it 3D and get people to touch it. She took inspiration from Inesto- a famous sculptor. They made it out of textiles with him and chose fabrics based on the parts of the digestive system. For example satin for the oesophagus as it slides down. They targeted 5-9 when they want to play but are also interested with learning Used at pop up schools, events, festivals.
Project 4 – after uni she did a project called Day job At Somerset House. They were too interested in sales and not in the artwork they were exhibiting which Katie thought was ridiculous. They rebelled and created their own shop.
Katie’s most recent project was Peckham Takeover at the V&A. She created a porn shop where people from the public created art and then swapped it with their art.
Moved to Berlin and started painting, created a magazine using mostly watercolours.
I loved there fact that Katie was brutally honestly and told us about the struggles of being able to fund something you love. She said that she has often considered getting a job in a coffee shop in Berlin to be able to afford her rent and paints etc. But the most inspiring thing she mentioned was that its okay to dip into other professions, not just graphic design or illustration, its good to let go and do different things.